Description: Scouting for his promotion, one Vernon Cross sets up an interview with rising rookie Rainbow Mika...who impresses the boss, but is unaware what Vyle things are in store for her.
The announcement of Rainbow Mika setting out on a world tour to take on any challenge that comes her way from any part of the world was a legitimate one; she intends to prove to the far reaches of the globe that she has what it takes. This is, however, given a slightly awkward edge based on the fact that Mika Nanakawa has never actually left Japan.
Following her debut match in Southtown's Chinatown district, she was handed a card by an agent of a smaller wrestling league that seemed to be intent on expanding, going by the name of Brute Force Wrestling. Given her ultimate goal of becoming a major figure in the wrestling world, it would seem this is an offer that Mika couldn't easily pass up on, leading to her recent arrival in the south-eastern United States.
In some ways, her time in Southtown had prepared her for a more western culture... but Southtown has far more in common with the rest of Japan than it does with this region of the US. It's made even more challenging by the fact that she decided it best not to put on the Rainbow Mika persona for the entirety of her trip; while she loves putting herself in the role, it can be utterly exhausting even over a few hours.
Finally, she finds herself in Nashville, Tennessee, a slight frown on her face as she stands in front of a warehouse, comparing the address on the building to the address on the card she was given. She stands out quite a lot at the moment, with her hair blonde hair pulled back into a single ponytail, dressed in a fairly professional women's business suit, including a knee length skirt and short heels. Even with her unusually strong and curvy figure, it would be difficult to guess that Mika Nanakawa was Rainbow Mika at the moment.
Having come this far, it's somewhat late to just walk away, especially not after she'd set up a meeting on the phone. She rings the bell by the main entrance.
The address the business card guided Ms. Nanakawa to wasn't exactly what you might expect from a major media company, even if it's a wrestling company...but then again, the card didn't exactly call the location its corporate headquarters either. No, instead, not too far from the Nashville city limits themselves, the warehouse she arrives at has the metallic 'BWF' logo emblazoned over the large gates, with the full name of Brute Force Wrestling in welded letters underneath.
Mind, it's not like the warehouse looks abandoned or anything. If anything, it looks well kept outside of the aggressive, 'gritty' logo. And the sounds inside that echo sound like the reverberations of flesh on canvas. The reason why becomes clearer as one gets nearer to the gates, where a sign noting 'Brute Force Wrestling: Training Center' can be read.
The ring quickly brings up a crackle of the intercom next to the button Mika pressed, coming to life with static before a voice can be heard. "Come in through the side, Miss Mika," a brusque female voice directs her, a railed pathway leading around the corner and up a set of stairs with the words 'Training Office' on the door.
And inside, the same brusque voice echos through the training center, a set of three rings as well as a fake practice 'stage' on the side. "Mr. Cross, Miss Rainbow Mika is here for her interview." Looking up from ringside at the middle ring, holding a kendo stick, the shorter man known as Vernon Cross looks up to the speakers. "Let her in and I'll be up there in 5." Looking to the ring, he snorts. It's a good thing he's working the talent that have no idea about the second layer of the company just yet. Makes things look better for now.
As soon as a voice replies to her ring, Mika quickly attempts to respond with a slightly awkward, "Oh, th-thank you." American businesses certainly have a very different tone that what she's used to.
She begins to make her way around the building, pulling behind her a decent sized rolling suitcase that has managed, since she arrived in the country, to have one wheel refuse to go in the same direction as any of the rest. Quite frankly, she has an easier time with it once she hefts it up (with apparently no real effort) and hauls it up the side stairs to the indicated door.
Once there, she takes in a deep breath, uncertain of what to expect. In fairness, many of the training facilities that Yoko Harmaggedon had taken her to before now hadn't exactly been in the most impressive parts of Japan. Perhaps she'd let her impressive vision of professional main events give her an unreasonable expectation of where they would be stationed.
Having recollected herself, she opens the door and steps inside, immediately taking in her surroundings with a look of wariness. Ultimately, this does appear to have a lot in common with the training facilities she'd used... well, when Yoko was actually giving her in the ring training. The rest of the time there was quite a lot of beach runs, outdoor equipment, and the occasional junkyard.
The office that Mika is directed to as she enters is more like a foreman's office in a manufacturing plant it seems like, near the top of the warehouse with windows looking out over the rest of the warehouse once Mika passes by the secretary. If Mika looked out over them, she'd notice one ring with two men in workout clothes seemingly exchanging basic spots, one doing a quick leg trip before hitting the ropes and doing the leap over and running into a pulled dropkick. It's clear they're sparring for the most part, but they seem to be working not just on technique but presentation. And on the other side, where the mock stage that looks like a barebones version of an actual arena stage from TV, another wrestler looks to be practicing an entrance, looking toward red lights that seem to mark where the camera placements would be on an actual show.
Before that entrance training could go further, though, the door from the inside opens up, with Vernon Cross looking less like an owner and more like a trainer, towel over his neck and a kendo shinai in his hand, quick tossed to the side of the door as he enters. "Ms. Nanakawa! Welcome to the training center. Hope you're not disappointed, but I figured you'd want to see things in action more than any kind of corporate office or a-" Then he sees how formally dressed Mika is, and coughs. "...well, sorry, I should've been more clear. But welcome anyway. So, sit down, sit down." Moving to a set of clothes hooks, he reaches up to a jacket, putting it over his work out shirt for now before taking a place behind a desk. "So, get a chance to look around and see the city yet, or did you come straight here?"
Looking quite a bit sheepish, lacking the bombastic energy of her ring performance, Mika uncomfortably adjusts her skirt. "I apologize if I've come overdressed. When you said you wanted to bring me in for an interview, I sort of assumed..." This definitely isn't quite the same spirit that the woman in the ring possessed.
She approaches the desk, dragging the suitcase along behind her as she takes a seat across from the much less formally dressed man. "The trip took quite a long time. In my current situation, I've put more focus on looking for fighting opportunities than being a tourist. However, I suppose it would be a bit rude to visit a country and refuse to take in any of the sights."
There's a brief pause where she appears to be debating something in her mind, leaving an awkward pause before she apparently makes her decision. "I wasn't entirely certain what to expect for this sort of interview, so I have brought recommendation letters from some of the trainers I worked from, as well as Yoko Harmaggedon. I also have some presentation videos." She reaches down to open a side pouch on the suit case, pulling out a file folder and a USB drive that she places on the desk in front of her before sliding them toward Vernon.
Mr. Cross gives a dismissive wave to Mika's concern about her manner of dress. "I should've been specific, but you know as well as I do that this isn't like interviewing for a white collar position. We're wrestlers, fighters, our work is in a ring, not behind a desk. It still shows you're trying to put a good foot forward though, so I can't fault you for that." He definitely doesn't act like your common white collar boss, that's for sure. "And besides, it's nice to keep a low profile, you can't be who you are in-ring 24/7 after all." And the pictures behind Cross featuring his time as Vyle, with the noxious purple and green tights and animated expressions seem to make his point.
"Trust me, Nashville is a good place to look around. It's not New York City, but it's an expreience yourself, you should look around once you get the chance. But to business." Lenaing forward on the desk, his eyes seem to harden a bit more. "Just how much training do you actually have? I mean, not actual wrestling experience, I know you just started basically, but training. We do a lot here to prepare talent for the shows, but we still look for people with a solid base." He then looks at the files and the USB drive that she passes forward toward him, smiling as he hears the name.
"Harmageddon, huh? I never met her, but her reputation isn't for nothing," he says, plugging the USB into his computer before looking through the files for now. He reads through the letters, smirking a bit. "Not a bad set of names vouching for you, that's for sure." He opens up one of the video files, leaning back as he lets it run. "So, how long have you been training, anyway?" he asks, trying to run the interview even as he seems to eye the videos with an analytical look.
That was one of the early lessons: if you always have to be who you are in the ring, you're going to burn out. Mika knew that she wanted to be a force in the ring; she knew that making certain the crowd was excited at the end of a match was important, so that helped lead to Rainbow Mika being born. "It can be exhausting, but its quite nice to spend a few hours with a crowd of people excited to see you."
Once the USB loads up, it would seem there's quite a lot of well-organized information; it's separated out into folders listing "promos," "entrances," "maneuvers," "test matches," and "speciality matches." Each folder has at least five video files, with descriptive titles. Wrestling may not be the most formal of businesses, but this would be a hell of a portfolio.
"I have been training for seven years now... although not all of that could be considered full time," Mika replies, her tone still quite professional despite it all. "Yoko-sensei agreed to train me after I graduated from junior high school. I was able to treat that as an after school activity. After graduating, I took a few small part-time jobs so that I could afford to make training my full-time goal. That has been for the last three and a half years."
Mr. Cross raises his eyebrow when the answer to his question comes. He knows Japan takes its wrestling seriously, but junior high is surprisingly early. But that seems to allay some of his worries either way. She definitely has the training experience. And the videos seem to help bolster her credentials, even if Vyle doesn't watch through all of them. After all, each one would be the kind of thing that needs to be rewatched in depth for a good look.
"Just a warning, Ms. Nanakawa, we're a wrestling promotion, but we put as much emphasis on the presentation as well as in the ring, even more so than in Japan. We're aiming global audience after all. Playing to the camera will be as important as playing to the crowds," he says, pushing himself up from his desk to point to the entrance practice stage. "We have things set up to prepare our guys for that, but just to warn you. That said, it's still nothing without being able to actually handle yourself."
Making his way away from the windows, he opens the door he came in from, smirking as he takes a step out. "So....think you'd be ready for your real audition?"
"With due respect, Mr. Cross," Mika starts, her expression quite serious (this is, after all, her true passion). "It is my belief that professional wrestling is the best form of fighting not simply based on the actual merits of those who train and compete in the style, but because the style itself holds expectations on the performers to be connected with a crowd. If I simply wanted to fight, I wouldn't have worked so hard to create the ring persona of Rainbow Mika."
When he motions out to the ring, some of that seriousness fades once more into a slightly sheepish expression. "Oh... well, I was expecting that you might want to see a demonstration, but I'll need some time in one of your locker rooms to get changed." Mika gives an awkward tug at her suit jacket. "This isn't exactly optimal ring wear."
Smirking, Cross nodes to Mika, as she shows her passion for the business and the style. It's definitely a good answer after all. But as she points out the need for a locker room, Cross looks a bit dumbfounded, before facepalming at himself. "Right, right. There's a locker room downstairs just past the stage. Women's lockers are on the left," he says, before walking out the door and heading down the stairs to one of the rings. "Alright, clear ring 1, we got a live interview here!" he shouts, a few trainers getting the hint and getting some ice bags ready just in case.
Locker rooms are easy; they're all pretty much the same with varying levels of cleanliness. When you aren't part of an official league, you get used to changing in strange new locker rooms every so often. The actual physical location of the locker room doesn't matter anymore, what does matter is that a locker room is that place where Mika Nanakawa becomes Rainbow Mika. It's a routine process now, pulling on the tights, lacing up the boots, putting her hair up in the twin tails, and finally putting on the mask.
When Rainbow Mika comes back out of the locker room, any sign of timidness has left. She stands at the entrance to the training area, just this side of the doors... Nobody asked her for entrance music. Nobody told her she needed to show off on her way to the ring, but it's part of the whole thing.
There's a slow mental countdown in her head until the music is supposed to begin, then the count until she's supposed to burst out onto the ramp down to the ring. All the way down, you play to the crowd, scan for the signs that say your name and make certain to give a wink for one, blow a kiss to another, and the rest of the way down wave... sometimes slap the extended hands. When you get to the ring, you feel the crowd and the tone... sometimes you climb up the steps into the ring, but most of the time you slide in under the bottom rope, arching your back and pushing up as you do.
This is the part where you use all the space you, make the rounds as you wave to the crowd. Climb up on the turnbuckle where the camera is supposed to get a good view, put one leg on a higher rope and stick your your backside, give it a slap.
And that's what she does... ignoring the part where the crowd isn't really there. People would assume she was crazy in any other circumstance.
A wrestling persona is all about presentation, but only a small amount of that is what you wear. After all, masks can bring a bit of mystique, a signature set of tights or costume can help people pick you out with but a glance. But unless you know how to carry yourself, it means precious little. Mika seems to know that well enough. And Mr. Cross?
He's not there anymore. Oh, sure, he looks like the Mr. Cross that Mika met upstairs, still dressed in the same workout sweats, still with that outrageous haircut. But the man in the ring waiting for Mika carries himself completely differently. Gone is the upright posture, exchanged for a slouched forward, loose stance. Gone is the put-upon joviality, instead an expression of disdain and barely-restrained madness. Even his voice as he greets Mika is different, almost a screech as he greets her in the ring.
"I hear you're a real peach...you know what they say about them, a good one, you can eat for hours..." he calls out while she's on the turnbuckle, greeting the phantom crowd with a smack of her own butt.
That's right. Gone is Mr. Vernon Cross, owner and head trainer of Brute Force Wrestling. Today, Mika meets the scourge of the Mexican wrestling circuit, the psycho gringo himself, "The Sickness", Vyle.
Every story needs some sort of drama. In much of fighting, it's simply two people who want to be the best, or occasionally have an outright hate for each other. In wrestling, there was a desire to up the drama even further, and so the far more exaggerated personalities began to form, which ultimately led to the eternal rivalry: some wrestlers stand out at relatively heroic figures who fight with honor, the other side are despicable types who the crowd is supposed to love to hate.
This is the part where the friendly face for the crowd turns angry, her brow curling as she steps off the turnbuckle to toward to the other figure in the ring. She continues to stand tall, ready, unbending. "The problem with eating peaches is if you're too greedy you're likely to knock your teeth out on the pit."
The retort Vyle faces simply earns a nasty grin toward Rainbow Mika, the luchador circling back and forth toward the Joshi wrestler as he gets closer adn closer. "Guess that means you're calling yourself the pits, huh? Nice that you're being honest with yourself," he taunts, sneering before his hand sweeps down, trying to make for a 'quick' swipe at Mika's feet and trip her backwards.
'Quick' being a bit of a misnomer, of course, the actual attempted trip coming in far slower than it would in a straight-up match, for some particular reason.
Despite the lack of speed in the attack, Rainbow Mika doesn't even begin to move until the moment before the attack comes in. She leans, shifting her weight to the side, and twisting the effort to knock her backwards into a sideways fall. Once she hits the mat, she just continues the roll around the side of her masked opponent, popping back up to her feet in an effort to keep him off balance.
"You'd probably do a better job if you spent less time patting yourself on the back for your juvenile sense of humor." She retorts at the same time she lashes out, attempting to wrap both hands around Vyle's midsection and latch him in place. After that it's really a rather straight forward maneuver as she whips into a back bend to make Vyle's head meet the mat.
As the quick trip comes, Vyle notices Mika shift her weight in her fall and pop up quick thanks to her roll. He blinks when she wraps around him, holding onto the hands snagging him by the waist. Eyes widen before he's lifted up and taken over.
However, the suplex doesn't ring his bell completely, the agile wrestler flipping over enough to land in a hasty crouch, though clearly off balance thanks to the less-than-optimal landing. "Maybe I should just be patting you on the ass instead, see how everyone likes that?" he quickly snaps back, before trying to leap up and wrap his legs around the masked head of Rainbow Mika. If successful, he'd fall back, into what seems liike a hurricanrana at the start...but rather than try to pull her over, he'd simply wrench at her head and neck with his legs with his weight hanging off her. The move isn't as peppy as you'd expect from someone as fast as Vyle, but the feeling of blood being cut off from the brain would still be there if Mika didn't think fast.
Mika is prepared for what's about to happen. Or at least she thinks she does. She's ready to get tossed, and prepared to roll right into it in an effort to lessen the impact. The problem is that, when she goes to roll, Vyle hasn't actually bothered to let go of her, and instead of simply having the man hanging off of her, she ends up throwing herself right into the mat with the masked wrestler still latched on.
It takes awhile before Mika manages to pry herself free, rolling across the mat to give herself some room to move, but her face is clearly a bit red, and her chest is heaving slightly from the lack of air.
Despite it all, somehow she manages to pant out. "Seems... like you misunderstand; you don't get to hit my ass, my ass hits you!" Despite the loss of air, she suddenly runs to the ropes at full force and bounces off... flying backwards. He whole body is bent over to extend her backside to the forefront, aimed to take Vyle straight in the chest.
For those that know how to take a bump, throwing yourself into the direction of a throw and controlling your own landing is a good idea, but sometimes, predicting wrong can have bad effects, Mika finding out the hard way when the hurricanrana she expects is rolled into a headscissors hold instead. If Vyle is concerned underneath though, he doesn't show it, keeping the hold on until she finally pries herself free. Smirking, he scrambles back up to his feet, expecting her to try and retaliate.
"I knew you were the kind to just throw yourself at strange m-" He taunts, even as he tries to prep himself to catch her as she sends herself flying at him butt first. Unfortunately, the timing is off enough that he ends up taking the bodily check straight to the chest, eyes widening as he falters back and ends up hanging prone on the ropes, arms draped over the top rope in a daze.
The problem putting all that force into a single move is that when Rainbow Mika bounces back off Vyle's face, she ends up hitting the mat, rubbing her ass before she's able to get back up. It's rather a good thing that it ended with Vyle in a bad spot.
The main problem, now, is that jumped right from getting nearly choked out into going full force. She needs a moment to rest, but she can't just let herself go slump in a corner. Instead, she starts to play to the non-existant crowd, throwing her arms up high, index fingers extended and giving a few quick pumps before she draws them down into a flex as she turns her attention back to Vyle. "Looks like you tried to bite off way more than you can chew."
Shaking the cobwebs free from his head as Mika plays to the 'crowd', Vyle sneers, pushing himself back upright to face the rookie. This time, there's no sneering, no jeering, no smirking, no taunting on his part. Instead, he lurches down, and as soon as she turns back to him, Vyle's surging forward, trying to waylay her with a sudden clothesline. It's a totally un-luchador move, and rare even for rudos. But then again...maybe that was the entire point of it.
With Vyle charging in at her, Rainbow Mika just begins to smile. Sometimes the reason to taunt your opponent into going for you is so that you can put them in your own line of sight. She waits until he's nearly there before springing her trap.
Or at least that's how it was supposed to go. As Vyle comes charging in, Mika starts to leap up into the air, the goal being to use his forward momentum against him as she grabbed his head. Instead what happens is that she's in the air when his arm catches her in the thighs as she goes spinning right over his head before coming to a rather harsh fall on the mat behind him.
With the clothesline knocking Mika right out of the air as she attempted to flip over him and use that forward momentum of his against him, Vyle seemed prime and ready, with the brutal fall clearly leaving Mika open for a retaliation. Not stopping, he continues his run to the opposite ropes, bouncing off them and slinging himself back toward the prone wrestler....
And stopping short, coming up slow before his arms wave on the trainers. One immediately slides in, water in one hand, ice bag in the other. Vyle himself ends up tended to another, grabbing the bottle of water and pouring some straight over his head before the rest goes down his gullet. Shaking his soaked head (mohawk still up straight somehow), he looks over toward Mika, smirking, standing upright. "Nice try at adapting to the opponent's change. Least you were prepared for it." Gone is Vyle, shelved for another day, and back is Vernon Cross. "But I'm impressed. You know how to give as much as you get and keep an eye on the crowd through it all," he says, chuckling before pushing himself forward and offering a hand up.
The problem with a botched maneuver is that it hurts. The problem with a botched aerial maneuver is that it hurts a lot worse... It's right about now when the opponent moves in for an drop kick or something, so when that doesn't come, it leaves Mika in a slightly awkward situation of bracing for what, ultimately, is a helping hand. Of course she accepts it, only the most petty wrestler would consider their personal image more important than sportsmanship (well, once the fight is done. In the ring, things get murky).
"I'll be honest and say that I wasn't quite sure what to expect; there are high flyers in Japan, but when I watch the Mexican leagues, it's completely different." Her left hand goes to her right shoulder as she starts to roll her arm. "I also have to admit I've got a lot more respect for the regulars... it's not easy to get into top fighting shape after spending 16 hours on a plane. That's one of the things I never really expected to need to practice."
Helping Mika back up to her feet, Vyle still smirks, hanging back while the trainer tending to Mika drapes a towel over her shoulder before slipping out of the ring again. "You might want to start getting used to it soon. BFW is expanding out quick and international tours are going to be pretty regular soon. That is, IF we decide to bring you on. I still need to go over those videos. Still..." He looks back, eying one of the trainers who gives him a quick nod. "I'm not the only one impressed by how you handled yourself here. You're free to take a look around the facility a bit more and feel free to look around the city. I'll get back to you in a few days once we make our decision, if that's alright with you?"
Hopping over the ring ropes and down to the floor, Cross turns back to the ring to keep an eye on Mika. "I have a few more interviews to work on today, but like I said, feel free to look around, get a sense of how an American wrestling company preps."
"Yes, that's fine. I said I would make a world tour, and I may be able to find a few matches in the area to test more American fighters," Mika says before adding, "Thank you for your time." Most definitely out of place for the American scene, she accompanies that with a bow. A lot of the time it would be easy to forget the curvey blonde woman is Japanese if it weren't for the behavior of Mika Nanakawa.
Once Cross leaves the ring, she begins to introduce herself to some of the support staff and other wrestlers. It's fairly obvious that the shift from bombastic wrestling babe to polite young Japanese woman is at least slightly amusing.
As Mika introduces herself to staff, Cross makes his way back to the locker room, looking back to see one last glimpse of things as training starts in earnest again in the other rings once he leaves. It's not too surprising for someone to hit the showers after being physically in a spar after all.
Of course, the locker room wasn't without its secrets, the owner himself glancing around to be sure no one's around before opening up a certain locker, locker #72, and walking INTO it....directly down into a set of stairs. "Tell me you have it recorded," he calls out into the room, a surveillance center lit only by monitors, alarm lights, and LEDs. "Yes sir," comes the response from one of the men manning it. "The data is being sent for analysis now, we'll have a reading on her battle potential in a few days."
Nodding to the man, Cross's expression hardened. Not the good-natured owner Mr. Cross, nor the nasty rudo Vyle, but an expression of the man beneath both those characters. "Let me know when you get the readings. I got a feeling about this one," he directs as he walks out, a quick tap at the icon near the control panel on the wall, that of that same Winged Skull from before...
Log created on 20:55:51 11/04/2014 by Vyle, and last modified on 16:06:22 11/05/2014.